GLEN DROVER: Metalusion (Album Review)
By Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal
Release Date: April 5th, 2011
Review Date: April 4th, 2011
Record Label: Magna Carta
Glen Drover is better known to the metal community as the former member of King Diamond and Megadeth, and to a lesser extent as a member of Canadian power thrash metal band Eidolon which he formed with brother Shawn. Now with the help of some illustrious names in the industry, he is ready to unleash his solo debut "Metalusion", and as the name suggests, it's a combination of metal and jazz fusion.
Five original tunes and five covers make up the 10-track album. The first of the original compositions is the album opener "Ground Zero", featuring Chris Poland of Megadeth and OHM fame along with Vinnie Moore from UFO. It's an immensely delightful track that nicely sets the tone for the rest of the album. It has quite a strong progressive jazzy feel to it, and with the presence of three jazz connoisseurs in Drover, Poland and Moore, I expected nothing less. Even though it is largely a jazz-speed bonanza, this song has a sufficiently prominent thrash element that should please fans of Megadeth's Poland-era albums. It actually has something for metal fans of all kind, with the guitar harmonies giving it a traditional metal touch as well. "Frozen Dream" is next, and features Steve Smyth from Forbidden. Another excellently composed track, this is highly enjoyable from start to finish, and what stands out here as much as the guitars obviously is Jim Gilmour's contribution on the keyboards which creates a musical trinity that's similar to that of track 1. Paul Yee's bass and Chris Sutherand's drums also add a lot of punch to this tune, thus proving that Metalusion is after all a band effort and not merely a solo album.
The next original track is "Colors Of Infinity" which does not feature any guests and is composed by the Glen Drover band on its own. This being the debut album, the jury would be very much out on Glen's abilities as a composer and band leader, and after listening to this song no one would be left disappointed or dissatisfied, as the incredibly pristine guitar sound that's the focal point of this beautifully powerful tune rings through the grateful ears. "Illusions Of Starlight" comes across as a brilliant follow-up. It offers much of the same guitar goodness but in a slightly more upbeat and up-tempo manner as compared to its predecessor. The last of the original tracks "Ascension" comes in at number 8 in the track listing, another slow, mesmerizingly beautiful piece of music that highlights the genius of Glen Drover.
Other than these, the album includes five cover tunes that pay tribute to Glen's jazz heroes, namely Frank Zappa, Jean-Luc Ponty and Al DiMeola. While doing justice to the original versions of these songs, Glen has certainly given a more 'metal' twist to them, making it more suitable for metal fans. One of the JL Ponty covers features Opeth's Frederik Akesson as guest guitarist while the other boasts of contribution by Nevermore's Jeff Loomis, both musicians giving a lot of oomph to the already powerful music. I'm sufficiently glad listening to how Glen combines with these amazing guest musicians, but given the style and magnitude of this stellar effort, I'm only surprised that it doesn't feature the likes of Alex Skolnick and Devin Townsend. Food for thought for the next album may be?
Overall, this album is more of the kind that progressive rock fans and connoisseurs of virtuosic guitar would appreciate more than your average Megadeth fan would. The fact that it's an instrumental album gives complete opportunity for Glen Drover to present himself in a way he has never been able to do in any of his previous bands. If you previously didn't think much of Glen's abilities as a guitar player and composer, you're in for a pleasant shock.
Featuring some of the most wonderful virtuosic guitar you would have heard in a long time, this is a blissful hour of music which everyone should treat themselves to. To sum it up in one word, I would just say, "Wow!!"
Listen to "Ground Zero" using our music player below!
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